Chainsaw operations on a normal day can be dangerous. When trees are bent, snapped, or tangled in piles of debris because of a weather incident, hazards are increased significantly. With the frequency of tornados and hurricanes affecting western Massachusetts in recent years, highway crews and firefighters are being called on more and more to clear debris from roads. Chainsaw safety skills are essential to first responder safety during debris management response.
This training series consisted of two training modules: Chainsaw Skills & Safety and After the Storm.
In Chainsaw Skills & Safety, students learned about basic safety equipment and personal protective equipment, a saw’s reactive forces, chain tooth parts, and practice felling, notching, hinging and other cutting techniques and calculations. This was a two-day, 16-hour course. The training was physically demanding, a morning of classroom learning on the first day, followed by field work in the afternoon and full in-field day on Day 2.
In After the Storm, students built on the skills learned in the chainsaw skills & safety class. Additionally, students learned techniques to relieve pressure commonly found in storm-damaged trees. Topics included hazards, spring poles, hangers and leaners, pulls and splits and others.
This training is appropriate for Highway, Department of Public Works and Fire Personnel.